Convoy Driver Achieves Milestone
Being in the military today means you may at times be assigned duty that is outside your job specialty. Such is the case for Senior Airman Vanessa Velez, an experience convoy driver for the Bagram Provincial Reconstruction team in Afghanistan.
Senior Velez recently passed a 120 successful mission milestone, a large amount of missions for someone who has been in country for as short a time.
When she traveled to Fort Bragg, N.C. for her deployment training she was told that her deployment for a year in Afghanistan would be as a vehicle repairperson. This is the specialty that she has trained in, and Velez serves as a vehicle maintenance controller with 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron. But shortly after her training for deployment began she realized she would be driving convoy duty in enemy territory.
“They said, It wont be vehicle maintenance it will be driving,” said Airman Velez. “I had thought I would be driving shuttle, or perhaps driving VIP’s around base or something,” said Velez. “Instead I drive convoy duty inside enemy territory, at least five days a week,” said Velez.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Bobby Robinson is the provincial reconstruction team commander and he told her unit that they would be riding outside the wire, and living in tents. “I was a little shocked at first thinking a girl from the Bronx, NY, would be driving convoy duty,” said Airmen Velez.
Velez has driven now more than 120 successful convoy missions, and she continues to shuttle cargo and personnel outside the wire daily. She believes she has helped make a difference both for the Afghanistan people and for America during this war.